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488 on AAMC FL #1, 4/21 test date. Advice Please.

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by iqe2010, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. iqe2010

    7+ Year Member

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    Hey guys, I just finished AAMC FL 1 and my score is very low.

    Chem/Phys is my worst section, which I already knew it would be. CARS was the best at 62%.

    Going forward, what is the best path to take?

    I'm finding out that flat out content review is only minimally helpful.

    I have a little over a month until my exam and I'm just wondering how you guys would approach maximizing my score. I am completely open to re-scheduling it to May 5th.

    Side note, I have all AAMC materials. I have yet to do the section banks or question packs, which I probably should have before I did a full length.

    Right now, I'm thinking I should do 30 AAMC questions a day while going over my weakest subjects and doing 3 CARS passages a day (EK 101).

    My main review materials is TBR set along with EK biology.

    What are you guys opinion's on next step self pace 1 month course?

    Thanks.
     
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  3. Zenabi90

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    How are you structuring your content review? Reading the chapters is useless if you don't follow it up without some kind of self-assessment (TBR phases, practice questions and passages, etc).

    1 month is likely not enough time to raise a 488 to 505+. That's a 17 point jump and while I'm sure you'll see a massive jump once you start doing practice passages, it's a lot of ground to cover.
     
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  4. Detective SnowBucket

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    I think the point is that that was your first FL. I got a ~497 on my first and in two months, I got up to a 509. I agree entirely with Zenabi that you need more time but I was really bummed with my first one so just remember, so much of the MCAT is how well you know the test.
    My advice, reschedule and take at least 10 FL's, there is no (absolute) reason to take the MCAT that early, unless you have a really good personal reason.
    The two worst things to do in test review are not enough content review and not enough practice tests.
     
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  5. Xanias

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    I agree with everybody on here; you need more time brother. A 488 indicates major content deficits that will probably need more than a month or so. The MCAT is a marathon, everybody wants to get it done but you want to do it only once and do it well. I do have some questions for you to be able to give you a more formalized opinion. Are you still in school ? and if so have you taken Biochem ? How have you been preparing for the MCAT? are you studying on your own or enrolled in a course ?
     
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  6. iqe2010

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    I got my Bachelor's already and I'm currently doing a DIY post-bacc. I took biochem last semester but there's some brushing up I need to do.

    I have been using TBR books, reading them everyday for content review. For Psych/Soc I downloaded the 300-page KA document. I'm not in a prep course.
     
  7. GypsyHummus

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    Unless you are gunning for a DPM (Podiatry Program), you gotta do some serious content review. Anything below a 498 wont cut it for any program other than DPM. There are big gaps in your knowlage base. Make sure to take a rigorous biochemistry class, all sections with the exception of Verbal had Biochem on it.

    Do not take the MCAT until you can consistently score 505 or higher.
     
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  8. ajb24

    ajb24 MD Class of 2022

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    Usually the best strategy for the MCAT is a short material review followed by intensive question-based review. You do seem to lack in many areas of pure knowledge because with just review of material you can certainly score higher. You should postpone MCAT(its really okay to take it in may) and hammer away at the studying.
     
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  9. Xanias

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    If you want to apply this upcoming cycle, then I would say look into dates in late June or July. You wouldn’t be in the early batch of applicants but what good is being early if you have a very low score. A date in July could give you adequate time to study from now. many people even after having their application complete in August get into Med school if they have a decent application.

    Now onto your studying methods; I’m not sure how much content you have done at this point. But I would probably avoid taking anymore Full lengths for another month. At this point, focus on content and content only. The KA resources for psych/Soc should work just fine and you can watch the videos for some topics you have difficulty with. The 300 page notes is actually just the transcripts for the videos. Use the Anki Flashcard App to help you keep track of memorization.

    I’m not very familiar with the TBR books; however if you feel like you’re “stuck” in a sense and you don’t feel they have been effective, then I would switch resources and get a fresh start. There is an MCAT Tutor that runs MCAT groups for a cheap price online on Wyzant. Sometimes being organized in a group can be more effective than trying to figure things out alone.

    Overall: Give yourself time; Its a hard pill to swallow because I know you want to just get it over with. However, those who succeed are persistent and are willing to put in the time and effort. Don’t be afraid of changing your approach to studying. Look into different resources and figure out what will work for you. There is no one right way to do this, everybody has their own weaknesses that they need to work on.
     
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  10. iqe2010

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    Thanks everyone. I know for a fact that I wasn't doing enough content review. I took it too early I think.

    I work 6 days a week so it's tough to dedicate hours to study. But I will make it work.

    I've decided to reschedule for the end of May. That gives me 2 months to improve. Im a Texas resident so I really want to apply no later than June, but I also know the importance of taking this test once and killing it.
     
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